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Coach: Graham McDougall
Assistant Coaches: Peter Maloney, Gus Johnson
MATCH REPORT - ROUND 13 SUNDAY AUGUST 4TH
The last few weeks have seen a huge transformation in our kids this year. Terms like commitment, effort, resilience, teamwork, skills are all part of what defines the Under 11’s a special group of kids. As I said after the match, myself and the other coaches are very privileged to be part of this group.
This week was Murrumbeena on the back of two excellent wins and come from behind victories. Captains today were Aryan and Tess. Aryan because he gives a 110% each week and is one of the most versatile players we have in the team. Can play anywhere and has a red hot go at the ball every game. He’s a great kid and in today’s game we threw him forward and he kicked a goal within a few minutes of being in the forward line. Tess is a gem and what impresses me apart from her skills and that she more than holds her own against the boys but her commitment in the contest is fantastic. On the back of all her other games she plays each week, really appreciative of the way she commits to the under 11’s and what she brings to the team and hope that she continues her footy and one day we get to watch her in the AFLW.
The ground was small but in a good state so no wind and relatively dry means we get to see the kids showcase their skills. First qtr we came out on top and the kids really gave their all in what was a tightly but evenly contested qtr. Some really nice tap work from Charlie and clearance work from the kids in the middle put us ahead. 2nd qtr and Murrumbeena got the better of us and kicked ahead by a few goals. Third qtr was even but we were still down and was going to require another huge effort to come back.
We were all pumped, coaches , parents and kids at ¾ time and belief by the coaches the kids could do it. From 3 goals down we were able to hit the lead and win the game in the last minute. This was probably the most excited as coaches we have been in the past 4 years with this group. This was total team effort that got us across the line with everyone on the team contributing to the win. Their was some brilliant individual efforts as well but I didn’t want to call them out as all the kids were part of this victory. It was so good to see the excitement after the siren on the kids faces. Great win and maybe even a shot at the finals. Well done to Murrumbeena as well, they played the game in the right spirit, had a great group of kids as well and it’s a shame one team has to lose as both deserved to win.
Awards on the day went to;
3rd Best >> Rory – Rebound off defence was great and some important kicks and marks at real important times in the game. Well done
2nd Best >> Thomas B – He was like a kid possessed on the day 😊. My instructions at the start were to really take the game on physically and break the lines. He did this exceptionally well and the way he competed and cleared the ball was really impressive and great to see him come such a long way in terms of his development
1st Best >> Jack D – tough call as their were so many good players but thought Jack’s efforts in the contest, clearance, way he reads the play, way he takes the game on were beyond his years. This was so impressive to watch and a real credit to him. They say this in senior football, but Jack just wills himself to the contest. Congrats and well deserved.
Mention to Griffin and like Sammy Fasso the week before, so pleased to see him develop over the year and see him take a really important mark and clearance at a critical stage in the game was fantastic.
Its tough that the season is coming to an end as the kids are really hitting their straps. I have no doubt as I said after the match that the kids will remember this game for a long time. This is what being part of a team is all about and we are very proud as parents, helpers and coaches to be a part of this special group of kids.
Bring on next week
MATCH REPORT ROUND 7 - Sunday June 16th
Up against east Malvern this week and ground a bit wet and muddy which I think the kids like. Captains this week were Jack and Luca. Jack for his improvement this year, more involved on the ground and some really good marks. Luca for his first year has been really impressive, works really hard at his footy and takes the game on
First quarter in wet conditions and we final started out of the blocks well. We started to see some of the training coming int play. Shepard’s (well done Nash), spread and linking of handball through to clearing kicks and continuous plays down the ground. The opposition was equally matched and great game to watch for the parents and coaches.
The next two quarters so us drop off a bit and they jumped us by three goals and the final change. Not impossible and with an passionate plea from the coach 😊, we gave I our all and apart from a few near missed we would of come really close. Winning wasn’t the main priority but seeing our game structure and play improving each week was the most pleasing part of the game.
Awards went to Zac in 3rd and saw some of the zip and attack on the footy, good clearances that we know he can do. Looked to be enjoying his game as well. Well done. 2nd was big Jack for really getting involved and some great tap work in the ruck to our players to clear the ball. Great to see. BOG was Sammy J and had a ripper of a game. Whether in the last line of defence or on the ball, he was fantastic. He competed really hard, took the opposition on and saved us many goals down back. Well done Sammy.
I felt this was a game where all the kids contributed. Jack D and his tackling and physical game was well beyond his years. I wont single out any more as I said as this was a team effort and we know we can compete with the good teams when we give it a 100%
Things to improve was still around our kicking, shepherds and although we spread really well, we need the kids to spread to the right positions.
All positive though and good areas to run drills at training. Well done to all our kids and the huge support from the parents / family and friends on the day
Bring on next week
MATCH REPORT ROUND 5 - Sunday May 26th
Last week saw our first week after being graded following the three rounds so what promised was a close but exciting game. This is exactly what we got. Captain this week was Liam who is the quiet achiever in our team but one that leads by example and gives 100% at both training and game day. He is the eyes of our team on the ground and reads the play really well and positions himself in all the right spots. Classic drop back role and he plays this really well.
The first quarter we held our own into the wind. Conditions weren’t to bad but we able to compete well and more switched on form the start of the game. Obvious was the players holding their positions on the ground and spreading at the contest to give us options or block their clearances. Well contested butwe were down at half time by a few goals so the challenge was in front of us. Our issue was when we forward we didn’t provide the lead and just bombed to the pack. By 3 qtr time we have fought back and scores were level with us having the wind. Last quarter we drew away to win the game and held Prahran scoreless so great result and reward for the kids. Nice to sing the song as a win rather than a draw.
Again some really impressive performances.
Sammy J had a big day out. He was everywhere and really took the game on. Love watching him run the ball down into the forward and he really does attack the footy. Tommy had a ripper game. Focus was the key and he was switched on. Now that he gets himself positioned in the right areas, he attracts a lot of the footy, is quick and really likes to take the game on. Alex was also a big improver this year. He has realised that he can compete physically on the ground and is a real credit to him and at training when he focuses and attacks the footy. His smile is priceless and love seeing him do well. To all three great games. Mentions to Cruz, Xavier, Liam, John Paul, Charlie B who also had really good games but then I could say that to all the team. Lots of fun to win a close game
Thanks to the parents and family for the strong support. Our kids are starting to make a strong transition from zoned to open footy and starting to learn structurally how to play the game and position themselves across all different positions. You will notice as a coaching team we are mixing it up a bit with kids playing in different positions as much as possible. We are managing the rotations which is tough with so many on the bench but aiming to have by 3 qtr time all kids rotated and no more than half a qtr on the bench. Most kids will do one to two rotations a game. As Brett will testify, not an easy task but we are getting there.
To all parents, please encourage the kids to practice their skills outside of training and game day. We discuss this at training and all should be on your back to have a kick with Mum or dada.
Break this week so look forward to our next game and enjoy the sleep in.
MATCH REPORT ROUND 3 - Sunday May 12th
This week saw us up against our arch rivals on a special Mother’s day.
This year has been a challenging start for the kids only in terms of game and the strength of the opposition. For myself and the coaches, we have seen significant improvement since last year and that’s where the focus is and the kids individually and as a collective growing to a level that is appropriate for them.
This weeks training was a real positive. A lot of smaller match play and game simulation exercises and this was reflected in a really improvement against South Melbourne. What I see is the kids enjoyment for themselves as they improve.
This week’s captain was a special choice. Noah in his second year has come a long way since he first joined the club. Not only is he a great kid, very respectful but we love his attitude and willingness to want to improve. This was highlighted in training this week with his long kicks out from full back and his attack on the footy. This was rewarded with captain this week and start in the middle.
The game was really good in terms of the kids being ready to play. There was a focus this week I hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was playing the old rivals as a lot of the kids have mates playing for south Melbourne and always want to do well against your mates.
The game was highlighted again by a stronger second half and in the last quarter a real solid performance. Highlights for me were the long kicks and kids awareness of how to structure up on the ground. Still a long way to go here but we see improvement each week. A couple of observations for me over the last 3 weeks is how exciting it is when we see the kids kick to space / lead, mark play on and follow this down the ground. From a parents viewpoint you can here the cheers loudly for the kids when they do this. I loved the mark from Callum and swing around onto his right to a leading Will that run onto the ball and kicked a goal.
The first few weeks have seen some great efforts, Max last week in the ruck, Jack D in a really impressive start with our team, Big Jack’s marks last week, Sammy B lifting his game to a new level, Alex and his new attack on the footy.. the list goes on.
This week there were a few standouts. Jack D had another great game and his rebound footy, marking and kicking skills really impressive to watch and rewarded with 3rd best on ground for the day. 2nd best went to Cruz and his absolute gut running and ability to clear, mark, attack and defend. All round ripper game and love the smile on his face when he comes off the ground and you know he has had a god game. Top honours this week went to Jonty. Its hard to put in words what Jonty brings to the team but he is an assuming little guy that plays well beyond his year and his size. The opposition player from Sth Melbourne that is touted as a future footballer in many circles was his challenge. He had opened up with two goals and Pete suggested we let Jonty run with him for the day. Not only did Jonty love the challenge of taking this kid head on but in my eyes he played at a higher level and demonstrated to all from both sides just how capable he is. No fuss, just gets out there and as a read hot crack every week. Well done to all kids and call outs to Tommy, Charlie W, Liam, Charlie W, Sammy J for really impressive days out but in honest all the kids had a good day.
Big emphasis this week on all kids improving their kicking, irrespective of what level they are at. What we ask is not to be the best but want to improve and make the investment outside of training and game day to improve skills. This is the big ask from the kids and support from the parents
Hope all the Mums had a great Mother’s day and enjoyed watching the kids play and thanks for all the support and cheering. The kids and us can hear this and the more positive noise we make the more fun it is.
Bring on next week